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NOT IN OUR BACKYARD: Rural America is fighting back against large-scale renewable energy projects

April 21, 2021
By Robert Bryce

The huge amount of land needed to transform America's energy grid into all renewable is quickly running up against a problem, local authorities are increasingly limiting or banning new industrial wind and solar developments.

Land use conflicts are likely to undermine the Biden/Harris administration’s efforts to reach reach net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 using existing technology. One reasonable estimate of the amount of land the transition would require for huge increases in industrial wind and solar energy and the massive expansion of high-voltage transmission capacity is that it would require that more than 228,000 square miles of land be covered with turbines, panels, and wires, an area roughly equal to the size of the states of California and Washington combined. This presents a problem because state and local governments are increasingly imposing restrictions or bans on the development of new industrial wind and solar facilities. Research indicates that just since 2015, approximately 300 government entities have moved to reject or restrict wind energy projects.